Suspect arrested in Knoxville after 2 nights of high speed pursuits

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Police say they have caught a suspect believed to have led officers in several East Tennessee counties on a chase two nights in a row.

Loudon County deputies say Justin Damian Garland, 30, was found in South Knoxville around 2 p.m. and is being extradited to Loudon County. He is charged with improper passing, reckless endangerment, evading arrest, reckless driving, driving on a suspended or revoked license and speeding.

The charges stem from a chase that took place Thursday night. At around 8:03 p.m. Thursday, a Loudon County deputy noticed a maroon Honda Odyssey that was reported stolen in the area of Bimbo’s Station off of Highway 321 in Lenoir City.

Deputies pursued the driver who entered Interstate 75 North at a speed over 100 miles per hour. He said the driver went on I-75 North and deputies stopped pursuing him at around Lovell Road in West Knoxville because the safety of other drivers was at risk.

Officials suspect Garland is the same driver who led officers on a high speed pursuit Wednesday night. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office says that pursuit began in Loudon County, went to Blount County and then the Tennessee Highway Patrol became involved. Knox County was asked to assist around 8:15 p.m. but couldn’t catch up. Reports indicate the vehicle was going in excess of 130 miles per hour at times.

“He said he was just going to look at the cars, then he decided to just take off in the vehicle, no tags no nothing.” said Tonya Stafford, Super Auto Sales Manager.

Stafford said she followed the stolen Dodge Challenger until calling the authorities.

“When they got to the area they immediately spotted the vehicle, started to chase. The vehicle went into high speeds into Lenoir City.” said Paul Curtis, Assistant Chief Deputy Loudon County Sheriff.

Curtis said, “We do have a list of charges on him from the events last night. As we complete this investigation we’ll probably add some more charges to him.”

The vehicle had been reported stolen from Super Auto Sales on Clinton Highway around 2:30 p.m. Knoxville and University of Tennessee police officers eventually found the vehicle abandoned on Cumberland Avenue.

Garland has not been charged with Wednesday night’s pursuit. That investigation is ongoing.